Independent boarding and day school for girls aged 3 -18
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Mrs D. MacGinty, Headmistress

Welcome to St. Francis' College

I like to think of St. Francis` College as Hertfordshire's best kept educational secret. As Headmistress I take great pride in the ethos and values of our College, it is always pleasing to have others affirm that what we hold to be important is actually taking place in practice. The ISI inspections which began in December 2010 confirmed our achievements in meeting our academic aims saying “pupils' overall achievement is excellent” and “across all subjects pupils are articulate, work enthusiastically and achieve high standards”. What especially pleases me is that we can achieve this academic level without sacrificing any of our extra curricular programme of music, sport, drama, dance and art.

Teaching classes remain small, ensuring every girl receives individual attention to fulfil her potential and this is reflected in the A level success this year. Across all subjects nearly half of exams were passed A* or A grade, 80% of art exams at A* grade. Of the total pass rate of 99.3% three quarters were at A*, A or B grade. In the areas of the sciences and mathematics, not traditionally favoured by girls, here at St. Francis` nearly half of all exams were taken in these fields with 77% passed A* or A grade leading all the candidates for medicine to gain a place at their choice of university including Cambridge. Our consistent track record of getting girls into their choice of university has continued this year with all the girls being offered a place at a university of their choice.

GCSE results were up again this year with 31.4% of all exams passed at A*, the national average this year is 6.7%. In total a massive 65% of all exams were passed at A* or A grade. A 100% pass rate with 90% at A*, A or B grade. Almost a quarter of all the girls passed 11 or more GCSEs at A* or A grade and 3 achieved 12 A* grades, truly fantastic results.

Education is not just about academic endeavour, despite being a medium sized school we have county, regional and national team representatives in sports such as badminton, tennis, athletics, hockey, netball and swimming. The girls excel in a range of performing arts dance, drama and music from choirs to orchestras to rock bands. The art department covers a wide range of disciplines from drawing, painting and sculpting to photography.

St. Francis` College is a distinctive school, possessing a remarkable charm. Many visitors say that we “feel different”. We believe this is because our founding traditions continue to reinforce the values that lie at the heart of our community: academic rigour, trust, respect, integrity and responsibility.

In our life and work, in the care we give and receive, there is a noticeable unity of purpose. Our girls call it “a St. Francis` thing”, meaning that even if you are busy, you will always make time for others, demonstrating unending patience, kindness and support. Our founders called it: “One heart, one soul”.

I like to say that we are small enough to make a big difference. This is witnessed by the fact that 9 girls from the last three years are currently studying at either Oxford or Cambridge, that is one in eleven pupils.

“… life is happy, vibrant and inclusive where achievement in all areas is encouraged and celebrated”, (ISI), any Head would be proud to read this of a College they lead, but as a parent of a girl at the College I was filled with pride twice over.

D. MacGinty (Mrs)